Surviving Ophelia: Mothers Share Their Wisdom in Navigating the Tumultuous Teenage Years

By Cheryl Dellasega | Go to book overview

7
Combating Depression,
Eating Disorders, and Rebellion:
Professional Therapists and
Mother Therapy

A few months into the fourth-grade school year, Ellen's teacher took me aside. I can still hear the cautious tone in her voice as she addressed me, her eyes avoiding mine.

"I can't put my finger on exactly what it is, Cheryl, but I think some counseling would really benefit Ellen."

Third grade and our new neighborhood had been rough, but nothing I saw in Ellen's behavior at the time led me to think she was troubled enough to need therapy. She seemed happy at home and with the friends she had made at her new school. Still, I trusted this teacher and wanted to do what was best for my child. I searched diligently before making an appointment with a highly recommended child psychologist, Dr. J.

Dr. J. didn't tell me much initially, but after several sessions with Ellen, she informed me that we (Paul and I) needed to make a point of being completely honest with our daughter. At the end of her next appointment with Ellen, she called me into the office. Ellen sat between us, feet dangling over the edge of the chair and hands resting primly on her lap.

-99-

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